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Faculty of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

UP's Women in Science honoured with top awards

By Phindi Nkosi

Posted on 12 August 2008

Two of the University of Pretoria researchers were prize recipients at the esteemed DST South African Women in Science Awards 2008. Prof Brenda Wingfield and Dr Wanda Markotter excelled at the prize giving ceremony held on 8 August 2008 at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton.

Minister of Science and Technology, Mosibudi Mangena, presented the keynote address. Mr Philippe Raffray the Managing director of L’Oréal, South Africa delivered the address and Mr Derek Hanekom, the Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, rendered the vote of thanks to the high profile guests attending the function. The evening acknowledged the leading contributions that women made to South African Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation.

“We cannot accept gender inequalities. By "we" I mean all of us; our children, our parents, our elders. A woman’s true beauty is in her head and not on her face,” Minister Mangena said. According to the Minister, the voice of women must be heard in the national science agenda and intolerances based on gender should be addressed.

Dr Markotter from the University of Pretoria’s Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology was awarded the Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. She accorded her achievement to hard work and taking hold of the various opportunities that came her way.

According to Anita Markotter, Dr Markotter’s mother, this award recognized what she has done. It is alleged that Dr Markotter has put in a lot of hours into her research and has in the process had to sleep in unpleasant areas surrounded by bats. “We are all very proud of her, she has really stretched herself to accommodate the work that she is doing,” added Anita Markotter.

It was a proud moment for the University of Pretoria when Professor Brenda Wingfield obtained the highly esteemed Distinguished Woman in Science Award. This award honours this candidate for her outstanding contribution to the advancement of science and building of the knowledge base within the fields of Life Sciences.

Her message to aspiring young woman scientists is that they should focus and believe in themselves. “Go for it! It is also important to remember that you learn more by being humble. Another small piece of advice to aspiring young researchers is that of finding a man who is supportive and believes in them,” concluded Dr Wingfield.

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Prof Brenda Wingfield and Minister of Science and Technology, Mosibudi Mangena

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Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Philippe Raffray, MD of L’Oréal SA, Dr Wanda Markotter and Mr Mangena


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